The investigative committee of the Russian Federation

Owner of fake alcohol storehouse whose products poisoned residents of Kursk Region to stand trial

The Kursk Region Office of the Investigative Committee has finished criminal proceedings against Ayaz Ilkham Ogly Samedov, 29. He is charged with crimes under Part 6, item “b” of Article 171.1, Part 3 of Article 238 and Part 4 of Article 327.1 of the RF Penal Code (storage of very large amounts of unlabeled alcohol products; selling of goods and products that do not meet safety standards entailing death of two people by negligence and use of forged excise stamps to label alcohol products).

Two women died in November 2015 in Kursk Region after they had drunk alcohol from a bottle labeled BACARDI. Investigators revealed that a couple of days before the deaths, the husband of one of the women had bought alcohol from a ground-floor storage of the FOOD CITY shopping mall located in Moscow Region. Next morning the two women felt unwell and applied for medical aid. Unfortunately, doctors could not save them – both victims died in intensive care department a day apart from each other. Forensic chemical examination showed that the liquid they had drunk contained methanol, while no poison was found in other bottles the husband had bought from the same storage.

On the night of 3 December 2015, the investigators together with operative agents detained the owner of the storage as a suspect. In his car they found documents on secured payment to another storage located on the 2nd Khoroshevsky Passage in Moscow. Later they confiscated 180,000 bottles of questionable origin, which the suspect had bought together with his yet unidentified accomplice obviously not for personal use. Forensic technical examinations showed that special excise stamps for alcohol products were counterfeit. The investigators have enough evidence so the criminal case with the signed indictment has been referred to court.

Later last year Russia saw a surge in fake alcohol poisoning in many of its regions. The Investigative Committee’s Head Office is investigating a number of cases opened in alcohol poisoning in Krasnoyarsk Territory which claimed lives of 8 people and sent to hospitals 27 more. The investigators established a whole chain from wholesale purchasers to retailers. Two of the accused have been jailed, while cases against three more are being tried in courts and another five may soon find themselves on the dock as the investigation against them is about to be finished. Investigators of the Moscow Region Directorate had many questions to the deliveries made to FOOD CITY late last year, when while looking into death of five people, they had found a truck full of boxes with best-selling counterfeit drinks on the shopping mall’s premises. Soon after that they identified those selling the fake drinks. The case against one of them is being tried in a court, while the probe against the other is ongoing, but at this point we can’t reveal more details by understandable reasons. In Chuvashia, while looking into death of three young people from methanol poisoning after they had drank from a Bacardi bottle, investigators have closed in on a family business and are now wrapping up the probe. Just a few days ago, a party of young people were celebrating birthday in a café in the town of Kuznetsk, Penza Region and poisoned by methyl alcohol from Bacardi Black bottles. 5 of them died despite all efforts made by doctors, 12 others are still being treated. The investigators carried searches and seized alcohol from the café. A number of forensic examinations have been assigned and the probe is active.

In the run-up to New Year holidays the Investigative Committee reminds about implications of drinking counterfeit drinks and liability for production and selling of unsafe goods. Such actions are usually qualified as crimes under Article 238 of the RF Penal Code which provides up to 10 years in jail as a punishment. We would like people to take special notice that as a rule the most popular and expensive drinks are faked. When you buy uncertified products at a price much lower than the average market one, you should realize that there are not only you who are saving money, but those who are saving money on you. We got used to thinking that fake alcohol is something that is sold under the counter, however culprits have reached a new level long ago: they now have selling channels and even their own production of alcohol. Bottles and labels are usually identical to the original ones and only experienced specialists can know counterfeit products by sight. This is why the Investigative Committee warns citizens buying alcohol from their acquaintances or from under the counter will not guarantee quality. 

25 November 2016 15:20

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